Winter: Five Windows on the Season

Winter Five Windows on the Season A taste for winter a love of winter a mind for winter is for many a part of the modern human condition International bestselling author Adam Gopnik does for this storied season what he did for the Ci

  • Title: Winter: Five Windows on the Season
  • Author: Adam Gopnik
  • ISBN: 9780887849756
  • Page: 430
  • Format: Paperback
  • A taste for winter, a love of winter a mind for winter is for many a part of the modern human condition International bestselling author Adam Gopnik does for this storied season what he did for the City of Light in the New York Times bestseller Paris to the Moon Here he tells the story of winter in five parts Romantic Winter, Radical Winter, Recuperative Winter, RA taste for winter, a love of winter a mind for winter is for many a part of the modern human condition International bestselling author Adam Gopnik does for this storied season what he did for the City of Light in the New York Times bestseller Paris to the Moon Here he tells the story of winter in five parts Romantic Winter, Radical Winter, Recuperative Winter, Recreational Winter, and Remembering Winter In this stunningly beautiful meditation, Gopnik touches on a kaleidoscope of subjects, from the German romantic landscape to the politics of polar exploration to the science of ice And in the end, he pays homage to what could be a lost season and thus, a lost collective cultural history due to the threat of global warming Through delicate, enchanting, and intricate narrative detail, buoyed by his trademark gentle wit, Gopnik draws us into another magical world and makes us look at it anew.

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      Published :2019-03-26T04:02:52+00:00


    About “Adam Gopnik

    • Adam Gopnik

      An American writer, essayist and commentator He is best known as a staff writer for The New Yorker to which he has contributed non fiction, fiction, memoir and criticism and as the author of the essay collection Paris to the Moon, an account of the half decade that Gopnik, wife Martha, and son Luke spent in the capital of France.



    190 thoughts on “Winter: Five Windows on the Season

    • I'm a huge fan of Adam Gopnik, especially Paris to the Moon, and have just picked up his Angels and Ages, which I am reading enthusiastically. This book, however, showed none of Gopnik's characteristic insight and wit. The subject, I think, is a bit too formless for Gopnik's approach. Typically, he moves inductively from well-researched and well-observed facts or well-considered specific literary works to surprising general theroies about them or about the world in general. Here, he has asked hi [...]


    • As the crush of September/October came - with back-to-school, travels, disruptions because of labour disputes, Thanksgiving, etc - it was a pleasure to sit back once in a while and reflect on the oncoming season of snow and ice.-Page 178"Ice wine, as every drinker knows, is sweetness made from stress. That's not news, or not exactly. All good wine takes its essential sugar from the stress of its circumstances: pinot noir, the grape of the cold country of Champagne, gets flabby and soupy as the c [...]


    • Gopnik's five chapters on the mentality and metaphor of Winter is an excellent, albeit meandering examination of the evolution of the season's meaning in Western thought. The book was written in conjunction with the CBC's Massey Lectures, and so the prose is more colloquial than we are accustomed to with Gopnik. Nevertheless, the staff writer for the New Yorker does a wonderful job of synthesizing centuries of Winter-thought into an accessible, sometimes funny, and always smart reflection of the [...]


    • Winter is not the season of my discontent. It's my favorite. I've always loved the austere beauty, the exhilaration of being outdoors and the coziness of being indoors, the sleepiness, the rich food, and of course Christmas, that fulcrum of the calendar when the light begins to return (never mind that I don't actually like the long hot summer days that the light returning portends!). Maybe it's because my birthday is in January.Adam Gopnik, who wrote this tour of the artists, writers, singers, e [...]


    • Gopnik uses the five lectures in the book to look at winter from five different angles, or through five different "windows," as the book's subtitle puts it. He starts with "Romantic Winter/The Season in Sight," which is about the winter as both "sweet" and "scary," "picturesque" and "sublime." Then he talks about polar exploration in "Radical Winter/The Season in Space." In "Recuperative Winter/The Season in Spirit" he talks about Christmas as a secular holiday and the things that have shaped it [...]


    • Gopnik presented a series of lectures. This book is a written version of those lectures. He calls it cultural observations themed around winter. His winters are about snow and ice. He grew up in Montreal after all. He starts with the mini ice age and the arrival of central heat, which he thinks changed our perception of winter. We could stand in a mini Serengeti and look through the glass at winter. We could venture out knowing that we could return to safety. He explores the artistic representat [...]


    • This book was written in conjunction with five 2011 Massey Lectures broadcast in Canada by the CBC. I was happy to receive it as a "First Read." The author, Adam Gopnik, is a staff writer at "The New Yorker" and an essayist.In this book, the author looks at winter from five themes--romantic, radical, recuperative, recreational, and remembering winter. The beginning of the book was densely filled with ideas of artists, writers, and intellectuals. Other winter observations were lighter such as the [...]


    • Loved it, although the lecture focusing on hockey is a bit much for a non-fan. Hoping to be able to hear Gopnik (who grew up in Montreal) read these Massey lectures when he does so on the CBC in November (via the internet?) I like the last lecture, about winter and memory, best, and it ends so:"'I wish I had a river I could skate away on,'" Joni Mitchell tells us, lost in Los Angeles as she longs for snows once known. Ou sont les neiges d'antan? Where are the old snows? Inside us, where they rem [...]


    • I liked this book a lot. It is idiosyncratic, erudite, and well-written, despite having been also given as a series of lectures. I learned a lot about winter from many perspectives, and was fascinated by the research tidbits that Gopnik shared. I found myself searching for photos of art and listening to music that Gopnik wrote about. In fact, I listened to the entire Four Season's by Vivaldi (not just Winter) as an accompaniment! Worth reading!


    • I had read Adam's Gopnik's Paris to the Moon and thoroughly enjoyed it. I picked up this book - Winter - to celebrate the arrival of the season. I started it on December 21st. It is based - or perhaps actually is - the CBC Massey Lectures he gave in 2011. I enjoyed every page of the book: It is so well written, but effortless; filled with facts, but always pellucid. I was worried that the hockey section would bore me, yet I found his take on the sport fascinating.


    • Libro splendido, al tempo stesso dotto, curioso ed emozionante. Cinque storie che dicono dell'inverno costruendo trame e vicende che uniscono mondi, intrecciano le vite di personaggi, illustrano e musicano grazie a opere d'arte. Gopnik conosce i segreti del rendere un saggio un racconto dal quale è impossibile staccarsi.


    • I came to “Winter” from hockey, which is fitting. Hockey is a winter sport, a winter creation: one of the many ways that humans have sought to engage the blankness of the dead season, an expanse of slippery ice, and use it as our canvas, our mirror, reflecting our own image back into an uncaring void. This book is about how we humans (of the European variety, in any case) make everything about ourselves, even in a universe that, manifestly, is not about us at all.I enjoyed “Winter: Five Wi [...]


    • I strongly recommend Adam Gopnik’s “Winter” I had the pleasure of listening to him read the book, actually its a series of lectures, on Canadian Broadcast Corporation Radio designated as the annual George Massey Lectures some years ago. Looking out at the snow on the local mountains here in Canada I recognize, as does Mr Gopnik, that Winter (often experienced here for a good deal of the year) is something that we must deal with both on a mental and physical level and be reconciled with it [...]


    • In a previous review, I criticized Jean Sprackland's Strands for being too dry and encyclopedial; well, for anyone asking what I meant with that: Adam Gopnik's Winter is completely the opposite. His elaborations on issues I'm sure he didn't know much about before writing this book feel natural: they cut to the chase, are witty and flow. My idea is that Gopnik read tons of books and later reproduces what he needs just by thinking about what he's read. For the past couple of days, my dinners have [...]


    • To be perfectly honest, this is not really what I was hoping for. On the positive side it is a decently written book, with a good writing style and an impressive bibliography, and it is clear that the author made a real effort to examine the idea of winter from different perspectives. On the less positive side, it does not manage to really capture the magic and essence of winter, and it is sometimes too annoyingly and provincially US/Canadian-centric: just as an example, who cares about ice hock [...]


    • I chose to read this collection of Massey Lectures broadcast on CBC Radio to satisfy the Keyword Challenge hosted by Bev at My Reader’s Block. I also thought that with some insight on this frigid season, I could learn to dislike it a little less.The five windows or views of winter that Gopnik considers are: Romantic Winter, Radical Winter, Recuperative Winter, Recreational Winter, and Remembering Winter.This book is a fascinating mix of history, art, science, religion, popular culture, and phi [...]


    • I wanted so very much to like this book, as I enjoy Gopnik's writing and, more to the point, I was raised in Quebec where we say, "winter is my country." Gopnik's research is excellent, but I found his approach to the essays didn't allow him enough hooks to hang his personal hat, if you know what I mean. He is at his best when his insight and wit are applied to his own life, his observations about his surroundings and his fellow humans. Here, he explores concepts of winter -- romantic, radical, [...]


    • I bought this book hoping it would point me towards a few new (to me) winter legends and folktales, but it didn’t. I don’t mind though, because it was a wonderful read anyway. It’s in the form of five lectures about winter, including chapters about the wonderful heroic madness of the men who chased the permanent winter of the Poles, the history of Christmas (our modern image of Santa apparently comes from a cartoon character supporting the Union in the US Civil War), the Romantic notion of [...]


    • Print version of his Massey Lectures. Meandering cultural history of the concept of Winter. Fun to dip into now and again. Mostly centered about Western Civ, he goes from 18th C to current day. Romantic vs Enlightenment, central heating, polar expeditions, hockey, Santa and Christmas, a nice bit on Dickens, and urban planning/architecture. Illustrated. Extensive Bibliography, but sadly (and oddly) there was not much I wanted to add to my Reading List from it. A fair amount of overstatement (lots [...]


    • I love Adam Gopnik's occasional contributions to BBC Radio 4's A Point of View for their pithy insightfulness and their wisdom. Those elements are both features of this fascinating study of the cultural history of the modern winter. The book arose out of a series of lectures Gopnik gave on the subject in his native Canada, and that format is (as he explains in a prefatory note) left largely unaltered for publication in book form. It works very well, giving his arguments a personal and engaging t [...]


    • A delightful, insightful, often humourous investigation into the modern Western idea of winter: what is the season, what does it mean to us, what has it meant to us in the past. Gopnik uses various tools - poetry, art, music, historical documents, personal reminiscences, and so on - to support his points and flesh out his ideas, and this is a very wide-ranging book. I learned a number of things and very much enjoyed thinking more deeply about a season that means a lot to me. Not without its flaw [...]


    • Gopnik writes 5 essays in examination and enjoyment of winter. The essays break down to extreme winter (polar exploration), winter in verse and art, sentimental winter (Christmas), winter sports, and remembering winter. The essays are erudite and his references vary from Goethe, artist Caspar David Friedrich, Goffman, and many others. The academic mixes with passionate hockey in the sport chapter and the entire book makes it unusual but also readable and enjoyable. The difficulty in describing t [...]


    • Now, modern I mean in the sense that the loftier kinds of historians of ideas like to use the term, to mean not just right here and now but also the longer historical period that begins sometime around the end of the eighteenth century, breathes fire from the twin dragons of the French and Industrial Revolutions, and then still blows cinder-breath into at least the end of the twentieth century, drawing deep with the twin lungs of applied science and mass culture.…the fascinated dream of a nort [...]


    • my third book by adam gopnik. In this collection he shows how truly intelligent and well versed he is. My lack of familiarity with the works he cited was not a great hindrance though. I did have difficulty keeping up with him though. The essays are so well though out and written that it was not a good bedside read. Instead I would think it more of a classroom study in literature or something of the sort. But with that said it was still written in such a lyrical and relaxed style that I did enjoy [...]


    • Canadians ought to love this bookading this in the current (changing) climate it occurs to me to wonder, how long until state figureheads start coming forward with pro-carbon statements? "Comrades! The long winter is finally coming to an end! Our green march pushes ever northward, fertile lands revealed beneath the ancient ice - resources long denied us, at last unlocked! We welcome the melt, and the thaw, and the endless springing forward of our etc etc etc." then a book like this will be both [...]


    • I don't know where I came across this title, but I'm very glad I did. It consists of five essays about winter, exploring it through paintings, music, poetry, sports, urban design, technology, climate change, and other frameworks. Gopnik's insights and ideas were thought provoking, and I'd love to read it again (my interlibrary loan copy has to be returned today) and spend more time investigating some of the ideas he discusses and items he mentions, such as certain literary and artistic works. I' [...]


    • I was surprised by how much I liked this book; it's the kind I usually don't. Gopnik writes like an obnoxious undergrad -- this painting reminds me of Goethe, reflects capitalism, is just like Joni Mitchell, why yes, I am well read! -- but makes it work. There's real wisdom behind the allusions and most have a real function. His points about winter are genuinely insightful. I had never thought before about his points on "winter cities" and urban planning in the cold, but I think they were very s [...]


    • A series of essays, originally delivered as lectures, by a Canadian who knows winter. Stimulating thought pieces on how winter entered into Romantic writing and painting, differentiating nationalities, the irrational fascination with reaching the poles, winter sports, and how modern buildings and central heating have changed our view of winter. The blending in of how artists and writers express winter is excellent.


    • Beautiful as only Adam Gopnik could write it. A bit sad, a bit humoroustaken from a series of essays, The Massey Essays, broadcast on CBC in Canada. A brilliant rumination on winter, it's history, it's meaning(s), what it means to Mr. Gopnik and ourselvesI am reminded of Marcel Proust's 'madeline' in how Gopnik describes what the memory of winters past bring to our lives. A wonderful book for those who are willing to undertake a close and personal look at Winter.


    • I found myself lost in a number of references the author makes in this book, however, those that I was aware of seemed just right and were perfect examples to put forward his idea. That's pretty much my only complaint with this book.I really loved his idea that northern European winter was a symbol of the counter-enlightenment and his bit on Montreal and cities in winter agreed with everything I feel about the subject.


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